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UKRAINE

Increase in Danish tourist visas issued to Russians

There has been an increase in Danish tourist visas issued to Russians this year, according to the Danish Immigration Service, despite Ukraine's President asking governments to close their borders to Russian tourists.

Tourists at Nyhavn, Copenhagen.
Tourists at Nyhavn, Copenhagen. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

In the first five months of 2022, almost three times as many tourist visas were granted to Russian citizens compared to the whole of 2021, Danish newspaper Politiken reported with figures from the Danish Immigration Service,.

141 tourist visas were granted to Russian citizens during the first five months of 2022, which equates to 28 tourist visas a month. During the 12 months of 2021, 49 tourist visas were given to Russians, which is around four tourist visas a month.

The difference in numbers could be due to the coronavirus travel restrictions during 2021.

However Immigration Minister Kaare Dybvad told Politiken that he was “surprised” by the figures. 

“It’s not about 141 people being a large number and filling up summer houses along the west coast, it is more the principle,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on countries in the West to close their borders to all Russian tourists.

The governments of both Finland and Estonia, which both share a border with Russia, have agreed and called on the rest of the EU to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens.

“A pan-European response, as Estonia has proposed is sensible. It is clear that if Russians can enter one country in Europe, then in principle they can enter the entire Schengen area. That is why the sanctions must be done within the EU framework”, Dybvad told Politiken.

Regarding the tourism sanctions, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said earlier this week that “we are open to discussing all of this with our European and North American colleagues.”

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UKRAINE

Denmark opposes Russia athletes competing at Olympics under neutral flag

The Danish government said on Friday it opposed Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag at the 2024 Paris Olympics, which the International Olympic Committee is considering despite Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Denmark opposes Russia athletes competing at Olympics under neutral flag

Since the invasion in February 2022, Russians and Belarusians have been banned from most international sporting events.  Ukraine wants to keep it that way and ban Russian athletes from competing in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

But the IOC has said it is examining a “pathway” for Russians to take part in the summer Games, competing under a neutral flag.

“It is Denmark’s official position, and it is my position as a minister, that we must not waver in our relations with Russia,” Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt told Danish news agency Ritzau.

“Russia must be excluded from all international sport as long as their attack on Ukraine continues,” he added.

The minister stressed that “this also applies to Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag. It is completely incomprehensible that there seems to be doubt about holding to that in the IOC.”

While several countries, notably in eastern Europe, opposed the proposal, the United States said on Thursday it was in favour, as long as it was “absolutely clear” that the athletes were not representing the Russian or Belarusian states or their symbols.

The Danish and Norwegian Olympic committees had already said they were against the idea.

READ MORE: Danish government leaders meet with Zelensky in Mykolaiv

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